Scottsdale woman sues Facebook

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A Scottsdale woman filed a federal complaint against Facebook, claiming the social-media giant violated wiretap laws by tracking its users' online activity.

Sharon Beatty and her attorney, former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods, filed the suit Friday in federal court.  It alleges Facebook sold user information to third parties without the plaintiff's consent.   In addition, the suit says Facebook used cookies to track user activity even after they logged off the Facebook site.

Beatty's lawsuit joins at least four others filed across the country.  Several are seeking class-action status.

Experts say Beatty and the other plaintiffs face an uphill battles because courts have dismissed similar lawsuits alleging wiretap violations. In cases that have been litigated, plaintiffs have often been unable to prove any monetary harm.

"Facebook has become good at fending off lawsuits, and especially if the tracking hasn't harmed the plaintiff, the judge might ask, 'Why are we here?'" said Declan McCullagh, who covers internet privacy for CNET.com.

Facebook officials say they have fixed the cookies so they no longer track users once they log off.

Beatty and Woods were not available for comment Monday.